'Mysteries of Love in Space' Review: A Bit of Safe Cuteness for Valentine's Day

Mysteries of Love in Space is surprisingly light on the romance, but it does have a few fun, but safe, stories featuring a cast of DC characters.

As its name suggests, Mysteries in Love in Space is a new one-shot focused on extraterrestrials and their romantic entanglements in space. The comic features seven new stories and an old Adam Strange story by Gardner Fox, although none feature Lois Lane dumping Superman for the much more studly and stoic Darkseid like the cover suggests. While the comic doesn't feature much for "Loseid" fans ("Darkis"?), most of the stories are decent -- or at least not actively bad.

The two strongest are Andrea Shea and Amancay Nahuelpan's story about Crush (Lobo's possible daughter) and a Bizarro story by Saladin Ahmed and Max Dunbar. Shea and Nahuelpan's "Crushed" features Crush, well, crushing on an alien cage fighter, only for it to go horribly wrong. It's the most heartbreaking story in the comic, with Nahuelpan showing off Crush's pain and seething rage in an excellent fashion. It's a shame that the only LGBTQ story in the anthology is about the exploitation of a queer crush for profit, but the comic really makes Crush sympathetic in an interesting way.

The Bizarro story also deals about heartbreak, although not quite in the same way. Ahmed answers the age-old question of "does Bizarro bang?" when he meets a shapely alien superhero named Grotesqua, who isn't grotesque at all. It's your typical "monster learns self worth" story, but I couldn't help but laugh the entire time about Bizarro learning how to speak English properly (as in not in opposites) after he gets laid one time; it's a goofy story.

Interestingly, much of Mysteries of Love in Space deals with non-romantic or non-conventional forms of love. There's a Space Cabbie story by Aaron Gillepsie and Max Dunbar that predictably shows a romance between Space Cabbie and his car (or an AI program within the car) while a Cecil Castellucci and Elena Casagrande Hawkgirl story shows the winged superheroine spending her first Valentine's Day in a 1,000 years by herself. The general concept of making a romance anthology comic that isn't all about conventional romance is strong, but the Hawkgirl comic relies a bit too heavily on knowing what Hawkman is up to right now, while the Space Cabbie story is just odd.

Of course, both Superman and Darkseid appear in separate romance stories. Darkseid opens the comic in a New Gods story by James Tynion IV and Jesus Merino. Merino's art is appropriately Kirby-esque, but it's a hilarious choice to open a romance anthology with a story about true love's betrayal. The actual story is pretty weak too, unless you enjoy Granny Goodness waxing about love for multiple pages. Meanwhile, Superman and Lois Lane get what's probably the sappiest story, a recap of their romance in letter form by Jeff Loveness and Tom Grummett. Personally, the Superman story didn't do anything for me -- I'm always of the opinion that Lois Lane settled by marrying Superman -- but fans of the romance will enjoy that part.

The only particularly rough story in the anthology is a Kyle Higgins and Cian Tormey story about Kilowog. It's not that the story is really much worse than the others, it's just really unfocused and also not really about love. Perhaps the story is that Kilowag's true love is teaching Green Lantern rookies? I think I see what Higgins was going for, but it misses the mark.

The biggest drawback with Mysteries of Love in Space is that none of the stories are actually all that romantic. Each comic approaches love from a different angle, but it's a bit odd that the only story we actually have about falling in love was of Space Cabbie deciding that he wanted to romance his cab. Also, a lot of the stories feel very safe, perhaps due to space constraints. You can only tell so much story in 10 pages, after all.

Mysteries of Love in Space is a pleasant comic that DC fans will love. There's nothing in here that's groundbreaking or particularly inspiring, but there's a few stories that should make you smile while munching on chocolate this Valentine's Day season.

Published by DC Comics

On January 30, 2019

"An Apokoliptian Love Story"

Written by James Tynion IV

Art by Jesus Merino

Letters by Clayton Cowles

"Old Scars, Fresh Wounds"

Written by Kyle Higgins

Art by Cian Torney

Letters by Clayton Cowles

"Backward Heart"

Written by Saladin Ahmed

Art by Max Dunbar

Letters by Dave Sharpe

"Galentine's Day"

Written by Cecil Castellucci

Art by Elena Casagrande

Letters by Steve Wands

"GPS I Love You"

Written by Aaron Gillespie

Art by Max Raynor

Letters by Dave Sharpe

"Crushed"

Written by Andrea Shea

Art by Amancay Nahuelpan

Letters by Tom Napolitano

"Glasses"

Written by Jeff Loveness

Art by Tom Grummett

Letters by Tom Napolitano

"The Planet Pendulum"

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Written by Gardner Fox

Art by Mike Sekowsky